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Chelsea are ready to offload several first-team players to help fund a summer rebuild but are expected to resist any offers for midfield duo N’Golo Kante and Jorginho, sources have told ESPN.

Although the wider picture is uncertain as football adjusts amid the coronavirus pandemic, Chelsea want to be active in the transfer market this summer.

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The Blues retain an interest in Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho but believe Manchester United are ahead of them in the race to sign the 20-year-old and in any case, they are wary of committing around £120million on one player given the financial pressures CVID-19 has created.

However, head coach Frank Lampard is keen to strengthen his squad having opted not to do so in January despite having their FIFA transfer ban reduced on appeal and Chelsea can bolster their budget by offloading several players now deemed surplus to requirements.

They include Tiemoue Bakayoko, who is on loan at Monaco, Marcos Alonso, Emerson Palmieri, Michy Batshuayi and Davide Zappacosta.

Lampard is keen on signing Leicester City left-back Ben Chilwell. Alonso and Palmieri were often overlooked this season with Lampard preferring Cesar Azpilicueta on the left side of defence.

Batshuayi has seen his game-time limited — making just one Premier League start — as Tammy Abraham was preferred in attack. The Blues have already signed Hakim Ziyech from Ajax and are hoping to sign a forward with Lyon‘s Moussa Dembele their preferred option.

RB Leipzig‘s Timo Werner and Arsenal‘s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang are also under consideration.

However, Kante is not likely to be part of the overhaul despite reports linking the France international with a move to Real Madrid. Kante is settled in London and despite persistent injury problems restricting him to 16 league starts this season, the 29-year-old is an important part of Lampard’s plans.

The same is true of Jorginho. Juventus coach Maurizio Sarri is keen to work with the 28-year-old for a third time, having signed him for Napoli and Chelsea while in charge at those clubs.

There has been speculation over a swap deal involving Jorginho and Miralem Pjanic but Lampard does not have a particular interest in the latter. Jorginho’s form improved considerably under Lampard and only the player agitating for a move would prompt Chelsea into considering selling.

Chelsea have been offered the chance to sign Philippe Coutinho, on loan at Bayern Munich from Barcelona, but are yet to indicate the strength of their interest.

The Blues have money from the sale of Eden Hazard to Madrid but recorded a pre-tax loss of £102m in their last set of financial accounts.

With owner Roman Abramovich keen for the club to follow a more financially sustainable path in recent years, Champions League qualification may have a significant bearing on their overall plans.

The Blues are in fourth place with ten games to play, three points ahead of Manchester United. Fifth place may be enough if UEFA uphold Manchester City‘s two-year suspension from the Champions League.

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